Law enforcement has been performing active shooter drills in the wake of mass shootings for more than 10 years now.
As a result, there have been some rough patches as we’ve integrated police training with the education system. Indeed, it’s been like mixing water and oil in some cases.
Child psychologist Michelle Borba discussed the issue with Ed Henry of Fox News recently. She said that 95 percent of teacher unions believe active shooter drills are traumatizing kids. Moreover, she interviewed 100 students who confirmed the same thing.
“It’s like we’re starting a fire just to do a fire (drill) alarm,” Borba illustrated. Moreover, using students in the schools to be victims during drills left many youngsters crying at the end of the day, she said.
Borba supports law enforcement, she’s simply pointing out areas of concern that have been identified by teachers as well as her own findings.
So where is the balance?
While no one is disputing a need for the drills, these were areas of concern from the teacher unions:
- Don’t include simulations that mimic an actual incident.
- Give parents advance notice.
- Announce drills to students and educators before they begin.
- Create age appropriate versions of the drill.
- Couple the drill with trauma-informed approaches to address students’ well-being.
- Track data about drills effects.
Don’t kill the messenger. Law Officer recognizes there are counter-arguments to some of the points made by the teacher unions. Nevertheless, we believe it is important to understand where the education industry is coming from on this vitally important topic.
We all have the same goal – student safety – so let’s use this opportunity to discuss what has worked, or backfired, regarding active shooter training.
Please share your comments from the perspective of a police officer, parent, or both.
- What has worked in your jurisdiction?
- What has flopped?
- Have you had favorable or unfavorable interaction with schools under your charge?
- Is it possible that staff members at schools in your jurisdiction share Borba’s sentiments, but have not voiced it to you (their police department)?
- Parents, what feedback have you received from kids who’ve gone through some training?
- We know there are many teachers in our audience, so please sound off.
- What do our SROs have to say?
We ask readers to keep comments constructive.
Thank you for your participation!
– Jim McNeff